Gaithersburg’s economic development grants have spurred more than $2 million in private investment for the city over the past fiscal year, according to the city’s top business leader.
Gaithersburg Economic Development Director Tom Lonergan presented an annual report to the mayor and council at City Hall on Monday evening.
The city distributed about $225,000 in Economic Development Opportunities Fund grants between July 2012 and July 2013, Lonergan said. The one-to-one matching grants are designed to provide economic development incentives for eligible businesses that show potential for growth and provide stable employment.
The 10 businesses that received grants over the past fiscal year include biotechnology companies GeneDX and Lentigen, restaurants Yoyogi Sushi and Manhattan Pizza and food services provider Sodexo.
Lentigen Vice President of Corporate Development James Meade said their $1,000 grant for job training was beneficial for the small business.
“It was helpful to have the grant,” he said. “We could have paid for it, but it was an option that was available.”
The businesses used the grants to help themselves or tenants reconstruct, or “fit-up,” indoor space as needed; provide job training; comply with ADA standards; or demolish structures. The most popular grant was for tenant fit-up, which accounted for about $142,000 of the distributed grant funds.
The city’s grants helped spur $2,016,271 in private investments made by those businesses, according to city documents.
“This was a nice bang for the buck for the city, as well as the recipients,” Lonergan said.
The Economic Development Opportunities Fund was established in 2010. The city is seeking to make minor changes to the application requirements, including an extension of the build-out grant to encourage businesses to expand or relocate to a ground floor space on Main Street in the Kentlands.
“We are continuing to look for ways where we can enhance the existing program,” Lonergan said.